8 December – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network R. Alexander Aco…

8 December – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and David W. Bourne, Special Agent in Charge, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Criminal Investigations, Miami Field Office, announced that yesterday, defendant Frank Tarsia, 43, of New York City, was convicted on his plea of guilty before United States District Court Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp, in West Palm Beach, Florida, for his role in a conspiracy to transport and sell in interstate commerce prescription medical devices, knowing the devices to have been stolen, converted, or taken by fraud, and for impeding and obstructing the lawful and legitimate functions of the FDA in enforcing federal laws and regulations applicable to prescription medical devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

According to the criminal charges and statements made in Court, Tarsia held a position as a sales representative for a division of Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon Endosurgery Inc., a company specializing in the development and distribution of single-use medical devices for use in minimally invasive medical and surgical procedures. His employment duties involved the promotion and sale of the Ethicon product line to medical facilities in the New York area.

From approximately December 2003 through December 2004, Tarsia participated in a conspiracy with other Ethicon employees in New York, and an individual located in Delray Beach, Florida, who was the principal behind a company known as F&S Medical, Inc. Operating under the company name, the Florida-based coconspirator solicited sales representatives and other employees of medical device manufacturers, seeking to purchase medical devices for re-sale. It was part of the conspiracy that Tarsia would acquire quantities of prescription devices through his employment, and transfer them to another coconspirator in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. The devices would then be packaged and shipped to Florida to F&S in return for payment.

According to statements made in Court, Tarsia received more than $350,000 through his criminal conduct. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Tarsia must make a restitution payment to the victim medial facilities, in addition to any other punishment that may be imposed at sentencing.

Sentencing before District Court Judge Ryskamp has been set for February 24, 2006. Tarsia faces a potential sentence of up to five years imprisonment and a fine up to $250,000, or twice the gain or loss caused by the relevant conduct.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Food and Drug Administration. This case marks the sixteenth conviction arising from an investigative effort called Operation Miami Device. Charges are also pending against three additional defendants. Thus far, the effort has recovered over $3.1 million in fines, forfeitures, and restitutions to victims of the criminal conduct. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Watts-FitzGerald.

A copy of all press releases may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .

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